For the 8th straight season, the Philadelphia Phillies will miss out on the postseason.
After a winter that included acquisitions of Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Jean Segura, Andrew McCutchen, and David Robertson, the Phillies seemed bound for postseason baseball.
Instead, they will be watching the playoffs from home this October. After a disappointing 81-81 season, Phillies fans are left with many questions.
How could a team with so much talent miss the postseason? Where does the organization go from here? What are the chances we get to see postseason baseball next season?
This was quite possibly the most looked forward to baseball season in Philly since 2010.
This was largely due to the addition of Bryce Harper. For months fans anxiously waited for news on Harper’s free agency decision. In March, fans finally got the news they were waiting for when the Phillies and Harper agreed on a 13 year deal worth $330 million.
Despite a lot of people criticizing Bryce’s first season with the Phillies, he actually put up some pretty impressive numbers and provided the Phillies with some of their best moments of the season, including a memorable walk off grand slam against the Chicago Cubs. Harper batted .260 with 35 home runs and 114 RBI’s.
However, this wasn’t enough to secure a playoff berth.
Throughout the season, the Phillies just couldn’t seem to define themselves as a great team instead of a good team. While many expected the team to make a run at the National League East division title, the team ended up in fourth place behind the Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals, and New York Mets.
However, it was the last place Miami Marlins that played a big part in the Phillies downfall this season. The Marlins had the third worst record in the MLB this season, but the Phillies could not take care of business against them, finishing with a 9-10 series record against Miami this season.
This is just one of the many examples of how the Phillies failed to get the job done.
What seemed to be another factor for the Phillies struggles was Andrew McCutchen’s injury. McCutchen was clearly a clubhouse leader and was putting up some pretty great numbers before his ACL tear, including a .256 average, 10 home runs, and at the time an NL leading 43 walks.
From this point forward the leadoff spot was shuffled, along with the rest of the lineup. McCutchen was a great leadoff hitter and leader, and his contributions to the team were clearly missed after he went down.
Another clear factor of the Phillies downfall was Rhys Hoskins’ struggles. Rhys’ average went down 20 points, RBI’s went down by 11, and home runs went down by five.
Hoskins was expected to be a great clean up hitter for the Phillies this season, but that just didn’t occur. On a bright note, Hoskins did lead the league in walks with 116 of them.
Much of the blame throughout the entire season has been pinned on manager Gabe Kapler. Seemingly, most of Philadelphia is calling for the firing of Kapler to be the first step of this offseason.
However, there are still no signs this happening.
Kapler has posted a 161-163 record in his two seasons as the Phillies manager. He has only one year left on his contract and his future is yet to be determined. With many teams having vacant managerial positions next season and a handful of premier candidates, many fans aren’t willing to wait.
Time will tell and the decision seems to be completely in the hands of the Phillies owner, John Middleton.
Despite an underwhelming and disappointing season many people within the Phillies organization still have high hopes, with Harper telling fans that “we will reign again.”
Only time will tell. The Phillies will once again have quite some money to dabble with this offseason and coaching moves are sure to be on the way.
Phillies fans can only hope for better results next season.
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